May 28, 2014

A Phenomenal Woman

Earlier today, my students and I learned about the transition of Dr. Maya Angelou.   We discussed her life, work and contribution to the African-American community and the world.  People of my generation remember her work in the Civil Rights and Women's Right's movements.  My student's generation was introduced to her through Tyler Perry movies or social media, then later fell in love with her poetry.

Her advocacy on the issues of today provided us all with clarity and kept us on track.  For example, just earlier this month she tweeted about the tragedy of the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by an extremist Muslim group in west Africa.
Being the creative group of teens that they are, my students worked in two groups and created two short tributes for this remarkable, phenomenal woman.   #RIP Dr. Maya Angelou!

May 18, 2014

A Day in the Life of Libraries

#Repost from the Urban Librarians Unite Facebook page

Libraries Now: A Day in the Life of NYC’s Branches
By Jesse Hicks and Julie Dressner

For those who think libraries are becoming obsolete in the digital age, think again.  The foot traffic in public libraries across the country is astounding.   After watching this video highlighting the work that New York City public librarians provide, I began to think about my work as a school librarian.  I see so many similarities in the work we do.  I also believe Special Collections Librarians and Academic Librarians can also chime in....Libraries and Librarians are a resource that is needed in 21st Century America.   I hope you share my opinion after viewing the entire video.

School Libraries Are Essential

#Repost from Epic Reads FB page:  This is why school libraries are essential to the learning community. 

May 14, 2014

ReThink School Librarians

While scrolling through the #tlchat posts on Twitter this evening, I found this.  Mansfield University's Library and Technology program 'ReThink School Librarians' meme that has been circulating on the web.   I just love the myth vs fact statements.  Take a look!  #priceless

May 12, 2014

My Creative Students!

Every year I try to contribute to the school wide message of teens abstaining from drinking and driving during Senior Prom.   In years past, classroom teachers led the project with my support of use of technology.  This year’s project was a little different.

The students had the opportunity to participate in a lecture series provided by the Grand Boulevard Coalition of Bronzeville.  This year, a representative from the organization provided a ‘deep’ discussion with Phillips teens about the dangers of drinking, driving and use of illegal drugs.  The students were definitely impacted by this presentation because the presenter was very direct and to the point.

Weeks later, one of the members requested that I provide him with some additional support.  Their town hall meeting for the community was quickly approaching and they needed some help getting the ‘word’ out in an innovative way.   In addition, they needed a public service announcement created and starring Phillips students.

I recruited five seniors, one junior and two sophomores to create two videos, provide voiceovers and create/locate interesting graphics online.  These students took control of the project and talked about the dangers of alcohol and drug consumption especially on Prom Night.  Phillips teachers, security staff, administrators and our own Mercy Clinic supported this effort.  The first video below is the announcement featuring a sophomore and junior student, encouraging the community to attend the townhall meeting and the second video is actually the public service announcement featuring the seniors.  Please keep in mind, the students are using language (lingo) that they understand and would send a strong message to their peers.

The students were rewarded with a pizza party provided by Mr. Brunson for their good work!

New Meme's

Here's a couple of meme's circulating on the Internet that I like.  Hopefully you will like them too, enjoy!

May 8, 2014

For Challenged Readers, Custom-Tailored Texts

Last month I was quoted in an Education Week article about struggling readers.  I discussed how I use genres that my students are interested in to spark an interest in reading.  I really embrace ALA's Freedom to Read Statement in my Library Media Center but it is so difficult implement.  With Common Core State Standards mandates just around the corner, I believe 'freedom of choice' will be challenged heavily.   The group of students I feel that will be most impacted are my struggling readers.  These students who I call, 'Re-Emergent Readers' are now embracing reading and enjoying it.  It looks like student learning will be interrupted for test preparation and assessment.....sigh.

Despite these obstacles, I'm still going to find a way to deliver books of interest to my students.  Enjoy the article.
For Challenged Readers, Custom-Tailored Texts